We’ve all heard of the ‘Summer Slide’ – where children can lose up to 4 months of learning if they do not keep up with reading, writing and maths – but this summer it is more important than ever to keep our kids learning. With the Covid-19 lockdown, children have lost several months of formal schooling and many have not any much direct teaching for a few months. Keeping children reading over the long summer holiday will help to ensure that any progress made during the summer term is not lost.
I have put together a list of four of my favourite reading sites. They differ from each other, but all have one thing in common – they all contain some great books that children will love! Some sites are geared towards getting children reading independently, while others model good expression through reading the stories aloud to viewers.
Enjoy your reading journey!
The reading section of funbrain.com is brilliant. This virtual collection has a marvellous selection of well-known books to choose from, like ‘The Diary of a Wimpy Kid’ to other favourites like ‘Judy Moody Saves the World’. It is just like having your own little library of popular books to read. This site is particularly appealing due to its simple layout and easy-to-navigate content. Books are grouped according to grade level, so it is quite easy to find something to suit.
Books appear on the screen as they would in their physical form, and you just simply click the buttons to turn the pages. This is an ideal site to use to encourage reading over the summer months – don’t forget the ‘summer slide’ will be more prominent this year, so it is even more important than ever to make sure children keep reading.
Most kids are familiar with Biff and Chip from the Oxford Reading Tree books. This wonderful site contains many of those reading scheme titles and a lot more besides. You are required to join with a free account before accessing the resources. Once you have logged on, you can access books according to age, book type, levels or stories. I love this site because children have the option of reading the book themselves or having the audio turned on to read the book to them while they follow along with the story. I am impressed at the sheer number of books available – there is bound to be something to catch the interest of even the most reluctant of readers.
A site jam-packed with stories written by Daniel Errico, Free Children’s Stories is definitely worth a look. The stories are organised both by age and by style, making it easy to search for something that is suitable. Many of the books have a video of the story for kids to watch and enjoy, while others have the text of the story to scroll down and read. This site also has links provided to purchase each of the books if you so desire.
Storyline Online is a wonderful site containing a great range of stories that children will instantly recognise, like The Rainbow Fish, Clark The Shark or even The Tale of Peter Rabbit. When you select a story, you click on a video like to hear it read by a famous actor. Children can follow the text as the story is read, with subtitles appearing at the bottom of the screen. These stories are great as they are really brought to life with the wonderful delivery by the actors. It is also a superb way to model expression in reading.